South Indian classical rAgams

Last Updated On: March 25, 2003

About this collection

This collection is intended as an Online reference of South Indian classical rAgams. Some sample MP3 files having ArOHanam and avarOHanam have also been provided in a separate page.

The index can be used to refer to any rAgam directly. A letter M next to a rAgam on the index indicates a mELakarthA rAgam which does not have any janya rAgam. The letter A next to a rAgam on the index indicates an asampUrna mELakarthA rAgam. A letter J found next to the rAgam on the index indicates a mELakarthA rAgam which has janya rAgams. You can click on the letter J found next to the name of the rAgam to directly go to the janya rAgams of that mELakarthA rAgam. You can look up the mELakarthA rAgam from the janya rAgam list by clicking on the mELakarthA rAgam in the janya list.

What is a rAgam?

Just as beauty of paintings and sculptures are in the eye of the beholder, we firmly believe that a rAgam is a collection of sounds and sound sequences which is enjoyed and experienced differently by each individual listener. Each listener is interested in different aspects of a rAgam or songs in a rAgam. We believe that many rAgams' personality (also known as svarUpam or bhAvam) cannot be described sufficiently in a scientific, notational or even detail descriptive manner, just like art cannot be completely described in words. Read more on our views in the page Personality of a rAgam.

Primary Sources

The primary sources for this rAgam list are
1. Ragas in Carnatic Music, by S Bhagyalekshmy
2. Sree Muthuswami Dhikshithar Keerthanaigal, by A Sundaram Iyer
3. List of Carnatic Ragams, v1.13, by Kumaran Santhanam

Transliteration Scheme

The transliteration scheme used is exactly the same as the one used by Kumaran Santhanam which is given below.

(Additional Dravidian letters)

Svara Notation

R1shudhDha rishabham D1shudhDha dhaivatham
R2chathushruthi rishabham D2chathushruthi dhaivatham
R3sathshruthi rishabham D3sathshruthi dhaivatham
G1shudhDha gAndhAram N1shudhDha nishAdham
G2sAdhArana gAndhAram N2kaishiki nishAdham
G3anthara gAndhAram N3kAkaLi nishAdham
M1shudhDha madhyamam M2prathi madhyamam

Notes of caution about the svara notation used: Please see the Notes on Janya rAgams page for more details.

Request for additional information

I would like to have additional information about many rAgams. Please see the Notes on janya rAgams page for more details.

History of changes

Added a separate page on description of Personality of a rAgam (svarUpam or bhAvam) on March 25, 2003.

Corrections to some of the spellings undertaken on 22 October, 2000.

You can read more about the additions for some of the rAgams, by using the links for those rAgams on this page. The information pages have MP3 samples of selected simple rAgams.

Added the asampUrna mELakarthA rAgams on May 17, 1999.

Added the following janya rAgam on April 2, 2000.

Added the following janya rAgam on October 27, 1999.
Added the following janya rAgams on April 12, 1998.
Added the following janya rAgams on 15 January, 1998.
karnaranjani shudhDha HindhOlam
(also varamu)
shudhDha sAvEri

Added the following janya rAgams on 4 January, 1998.
sunAdhavinOdhini vijaya sarasvathi nirOshta
shivaranjani priyadharshini lavan'gi
shudhDha sImandhini magadhi manOranjani
rEvathi kOkilavarALirasALi
mAruva dhanyAsivardhinikEsari
simHavAHinishrImaNibinna shadjam

Read more about the above additions, in case you have not come across these before. All of the above are rare rAgams with less than handful of krithis composed using them.
rAgam: some definitions

ArOHanam & avarOHanam of sampUrna mELakarthA rAgams

ArOHanam & avarOHanam of asampUrna mELakarthA rAgams

ArOHanam & avarOHanam of janya rAgams

Notes on janya rAgams

rAgams MP3 samples

rAgam index

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V R Vasudevan

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